Barnsley manager Gerhard Struber has provided an update on the availability of absent trio Sami Radlinger, Marcel Ritzmaier, and Bambo Diaby, along with how the search for a centre-back is going.
The Tykes are preparing to face Hull City at the KCOM Stadium on Wednesday night in what could be a very important match at the bottom end of the table as the away side will be looking to edge closer to safety while the Tigers are starting to look over their shoulders a bit after their recent run.
Struber has been keen to take advantage of the transfer market to add to his inexperienced squad, calling upon more familiar territory by recruiting from his native Austria. He managed to bring in Marcel Ritzmaier and Michael Sollbauer from his former club, Wolfsberger AC, and Kilian Ludewig on-loan from Red Bull Salzburg.
Along with this, he has called upon some of the earlier European recruitments more than previous coaches, with Mike Bahre, Sami Radlinger, Elliott Simoes among others seeing more game time than previously.
Ritzmaier and Radlinger have been struggling with injuries and the subsequent return to fitness following it but could be in line to get back to playing sooner rather than later. Speaking in his pre-Hull City press conference, Struber commented on the availability of key players, as interpreted by Doug O’Kane from the Barnsley Chronicle.
Struber said that Marcel Ritzmaier could be fit to start after injury while Sami Radlinger might return next week. There is no update on Bambo Diaby’s suspension following a failed drugs test while the Reds are still searching for a new centre-back in the free agent market.
— Doug O'Kane (@dougokane88) February 25, 2020
While there is positive news on the first two names there, the second half of that team news update isn’t so great. The club are still sweating over the decision that is to be made on Bambo Diaby’s failed drug test, while the club toil in their pursuit of an ideal free agent centre-back.
Struber is keen to add someone to the squad before it’s too late but is aware of the limitations that the free agents market presents, with regards to the player’s match-sharpness and quality.
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It’s a big boost for Struber to have Ritzmaier back in the squad for the Hull game, to add depth and experience to a very important part of his system.
While Barnsley are on the back of two straight wins, having him back for selection will give the boss a selection dilemma.
It does seem that Diaby’s days are numbered after such a serious accusation and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the book thrown at him.
In terms of a free agent signing, it would be unlikely that they will find someone so late in the season that can realistically enhance the starting XI.